How to survive the heat when traveling – a few simple rules
When the temperature outside the window exceeds 30 degrees Celsius or more, it does not mean that you should sit at home or give up your vacation. We’ll tell you how to travel wisely on hot days. Whether you’re traveling in Europe, Africa or Asia, it’s worth sticking to a few simple rules.
What to drink on hot days.
Normally, you should drink about 2 liters of fluids per day. In hot weather up to 3-4 liters, most of which should be water, preferably with a high salt content. Dehydration can be very dangerous, children and the elderly suffer from it the most. Avoid alcohol and don’t overdo it with coffee and tea, because all these drinks have a diuretic effect and can lead to dehydration.
Nevertheless, it is worth trying hot green tea with sugar and mint while in Morocco or masala tea, which is sweet black tea with milk and spices while traveling in India. Hot tea is also drunk during the summer in Egypt, Tunisia, and Iran. Contrary to popular belief, you should not cool yourself with frozen drinks on hot days. Much better would be hot tea, which will give the body a signal that you need to sweat, that is, to cool down.
When buying water in African or Asian countries, choose bottled water. Always check that the bottle is factory-issued and has not been used before. Sometimes bottles are reused. The second time, however, they are filled with tap water. Avoid drinks with ice cubes because they are definitely made from tap water. Drinking this kind of water can give you stomach problems, which will become even more exhausting in the heat.
What to eat on hot days
In countries where residents are cooled by hot tea, you can expect their cuisine to be spicy. Why? Well, spicy spices cause the body to sweat and therefore get a signal to cool down. In India, Nepal, Thailand, or Malaysia, they eat very spicy food. This approach to cuisine in countries with hot climates is also due to the fact that spicy spices perfectly preserve food and thus protect it from spoiling. If you are not used to spicy dishes, you can always ask for a less spicy version. If you want to reduce the burning in your esophagus, you should not drink water. Better drink yogurt, milk, or buttermilk. Indian dishes are often served with yogurt-based sauces, which have a soothing effect. You can also drink lassi, a sweet yogurt and fruit-based drink, after a spicy meal.
However, if you do not like or cannot eat spicy foods, remember that vegetables and fruits should be on your daily menu, especially those with lots of water and little sugar, such as watermelons, melons, cucumbers, and tomatoes. While in Asia, you should try mangoes, which are rich in vitamin A, which protects against sunstroke. Fruits and vegetables containing beta-carotene will also help protect you from the sun, these include peaches, nectarines, apricots, carrots, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, and cauliflower. In hot weather, Mediterranean cuisine rich in fish, white meat, fresh vegetables and fruits are great.
How to protect yourself from the sun
In addition to choosing products rich in beta-carotene, you can protect your skin on the outside. The foundation is a cream with a filter of at least SPF 30 or more, especially if you plan to spend most of your vacation at the beaches. Also important is how you dress for the trip. When planning a flight to Asia or Africa, you should pack loose clothing made of natural materials. It’s important that they cover as much of your body as possible, which means be sure to take long pants or a skirt and a blouse with long sleeves. An airy scarf with which to cover the head, shoulders or lips will also be useful. Such clothing will be useful not only in countries with a different culture, where you can visit the temples in the right clothes, but also because of the merciless scorching sun. When the body is exposed to direct sunlight, a person is hotter than when wearing loose clothing that covers most of the body. Dress this way, especially if you are planning a hike in the desert. Isn’t that how Bedouins dress?
Do you dream of a trip to the Sahara, Iran, or the Thar Desert in India? Loose, cool attire is a necessity. You won’t be in danger of sunburn, you’ll be cooler, and you won’t lose as much water as you would in shorts and a tank top. It’s also important to wear light colors, white, cream, blue, because they reflect the sun’s rays and dark ones attract them.
On hot days, it is very important to cover your head. Choose a straw hat, cap, scarf or umbrella. In South Asia, large hats that give as much shade as possible are popular. In Africa and the Middle East, residents are covered with headscarves. Bamboo umbrellas are popular sun protection in Japan. It’s also worth taking care of eye protection and buying sunglasses.
What else is worth remembering in hot weather?
Avoid excessive physical activity. When there is a lot of heat outside, do not plan long walks, especially where there is no shade, or long train or bus rides. When traveling in your own car, hover in the shade and open the door before driving and wait for the car to air out a bit.
If you have just landed in Egypt, India or Thailand, don’t look for a hotel with heavy luggage. Lifting even a heavy bag of groceries on hot days can be dangerous to your health. Better to leave your backpack in the luggage room at the train station or take a cab or rickshaw.
Seek shelter in the shade, relax with a book in a hammock. It may be worth following the example of the inhabitants of Mediterranean countries, who take a siesta at the hottest time of the day, usually between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
I am the author of many articles on this site and a travel blogger. In 2011 I quit my corporate job and started traveling. I have been to 36 countries on 6 continents and don’t want to stop anytime soon!